Three-minute pose

This is often true for drawing as well as painting: when you know your time is limited, you have more probability of getting the lines right. I don’t know why that is, but it’s often true. At least for me it is. This week at life drawing my quick poses were more successful than the long ones. Sometimes it just works out that way. What about you?


20 Comments on “Three-minute pose”

  1. When I went to life drawing sessions as a total beginner (which I mostly still am) I found this too. I’m not sure why it works this way, but it certainly is interesting. Maybe the time deadline makes me jump past all the overthinking I would do while drawing in a longer session.


  2. Alison says:

    I agree. I used to love the life drawing class and 1- or 2-minute poses, it forces you to focus and capture the essence of the figure.


  3. I agree as well, the 30 paintings is reminding me of how often this works. Not all the paintings are paintings in the long run but they will always have a sweet spot that you can take further.


  4. But I forgot to say that when I look at this one there isn’t a line that feels out of place!


  5. TonyU says:

    Lovely sketch. Definitely that way for me too. Instinctive and spontaneous just seems to work best in terms of expressive linework and overall gesture – as opposed to the overanalysing and overworking temptations of the longer poses. But I know and appreciate that plenty feel the opposite so looking forward to watching this space ….. Out of interest, where do you start drawing, head and down or middle and outwards etc?


    • I don’t know if this is the right way to work but I often pick a negative shape and work outwardly from there. Could be the bend of an arm or the space between the legs. On this one I think I started with the wonderful curve of her back.


  6. Definitely, I love the short poses. Makes one more observant and focus on the model as opposed to the paper. Also, more like real life as people don’t usually sit in one position for too long. The longer poses causes over thinking and playing. I am enjoying your live model sketches. Keep up the fine work and thanks again for sharing, Shari!


  7. Maybe because our minds get focused on not having time and so don’t over-think about the lines . . .


  8. The trouble is that’s ALWAYS true for me. The quick ones are always better. I’m reading this book by Don Andrews right now called “Interpreting the Figure in Watercolor” and it talks about just that same thing: in both drawing and in painting.


    • I just discovered Don Andrews. And now I will have to look for the book. My go-to book is always Charles Reid, although last week I used his combo of Cadmium Red light and Cadmium Yellow pale for flesh tones (along with Cerulean for the torso). I guess I overmixed the paint because the model came out looking like a plastic doll. All pink and fleshy and not at all lifelike. It was pretty funny.


  9. Ruth Jaeger says:

    My better ones come later after I’m warmed up and not concentrating much on getting everything in its right place. Then I feel like I’m conducting, my arm moving in wide arcs and curls.


  10. nenamatahari says:

    It is easy to overthink when you draw or paint.


  11. I love Charles Reid’s work, except my not-so-sophisticated attempt at working in his method means I end up with ears and noses that look like Rudolph the Reindeer and then arbitrary cobalt blue patches. Don Andrews is fascinating: his method of starting with cool colors if you want a warm painting, and vice versa and of adding wet in wet paint to push aside colors has me intrigued…I need to find a video demo of him working with figures.


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